Boris Johnson has warned “a smaller Christmas is going to be a safer Christmas” as he urged people to see festive bubbles of three households as “maximums” and not “targets to aim for”.
The prime minister confirmed that Christmas COVID rules would not be changing in law, but he admitted that the “overall situation” is now worse than when they were set last month.
Mr Johnson said it would not be right to “criminalise” people who have already made plans, but said he was asking people to “think hard and in detail about the days ahead”.
“A smaller Christmas is going to be a safer Christmas and a shorter Christmas is a safer Christmas,” the prime minister said at a Downing Street news conference.
England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, supported that message and told Britons to “keep it small, keep it short, keep it local, and think of the most vulnerable people”.